Monday, February 27, 2012

Interview: Riku (CATAMENIA)

   Catamenia was founded in 1995 in Oulu, Finland, and they are still giving us the delight of great, 'frozen' melodic black metal, spiced up with many great covers of other famous metal songs! Guitarist and backing-vocalist Riku Hopeakoski talked to me a bit more about the band, as well as the upcoming album!

pdn: Hey Riku! Please tell me, how did you come up with the band name? Is there some history behind it or did it just sound good?
Riku: Hey there. The name, Catamenia, was invented by our ex-vocalist and co-founder Mika Tönning. We thought different names through, but somehow Catamenia sounded the best, when Mika said it to us ... so we sticked with it. Shortly after our debut album, we heard it has a meaning and we were totally surprised by that that it's got a meaning, because for us is just a name. After a long thought with the label we decided to keep the name and all, because it purely sounds freaking great!

pdn: I know you are one of the band's founding members, how did you and the other guys meet?
Riku: It was a long time ago, hehe, when I and our ex-vocalist Mika met each others. We moved to Oulu and my mom said there's a lonely boy living right next in the neighbor, so I asked him to come to play some football with my brother, Petri. We got along really well together and when we had the same taste of music, we decided to put a band together and have another hobby among ice-hockey and football. At some point we thought to make it more like a hobby and made a demo, and still nowadays we're on that road!

pdn: Did you have a role model in the process of becoming a musician?
Riku: As becoming a musician, I did not have a role model in the word, but I've always had some icons since I was dreaming of becoming guitarist. It all started when I was a kid, my dad was in his work trip somewhere in Europe, and he thought to buy some music for me and my bro. Guess what? The C-tapes were Iron Maiden and since that I've always listened to rock, metal and everything between it. Of course I listen to everything I like, I do not care which category it is :) Anyways, I would say that my role models came later in my years, like the definite one Dave Mustaine! Also Jimi Hendrix is really close to my heart.

pdn: Cavalcade brought a bit of diversity in the 'catamenian' history. Did your fans react to that change?
Riku: Yeah of course they did react on it, as we already knew it that's going to happen. That just tells that our fans are truly close to us and tells their own feelings about our music, and that's what we respect! Some of the fans liked the change, but some really hated the fact of changing the style so much. But if you listen to carefully the songs, they are not o different ;) Anyways, with the new crew, we're back into basics of Catamenia and back in business!

pdn: Which is your personal favourite cover of all the covers Catamenia had done along time, and why?
Riku: Well, my absolute fav is the new cover on the compilation album, but I cannot say the title of it yet, because I am still waiting the official release info from Massacre Records. But if we let that new one aside for a while, I would say my fav cover would be W.A.S.P.'s I Wanna Be Somebody. Blackie's always been one of my favs ever, so I thought to honor him with my version - some like it, some not :) But when we were suppoerting them once in Romania, we were little bit disappointed that they did not allow us to play the song in our song list. We respected their wish, but nowadays I think we just should have played it, because how arrogant he was after all.

pdn: Who writes the lyrics and what are the things that inspire them the most?
Riku: We all write lyrics together. It's been like that since the beginning of Catamenia and always been like that ever since. Of course one of us get the idea and we start to build something around it. So, in short, every single one in Catamenia has always made their effort in lyrics. Inspire for the lyrics? They just come from a daily life, you find something wrong or something that you never thought about, you just start to write your thoughts on paper, the same goes with itself music ;)

pdn: What bands were your favourites to tour with/ share the stage with so far?
Riku: There's no question about it. About the bands, hard to say, but few to say definitely Finntroll, Graveworm, Equilibrium, Impaled Nazarene and Battlelore. Freaking awesome bands!! Also out of the mainstream bands like Winterhorde, Vuohivasara, From The Void, etc ... we just love to share the stage with everyone, heh. 
pdn:What can you tell us about the upcoming compilation album?
Riku: I can tell that it'll break some barriers, heheh ;) The fact is that we're going  back in time a little bit, but still keeping our own thing in our music. The keyboards bring something new on the new songs, but still respecting the keys on the old songs, and in general, there are no samples or triggers or anything in the sound ... it's freaking pure metal, pure rock! And of course I have to mention Kari Vähäkuopus - again he did a freaking awesome job with the sound at Mastervox Studios.

pdn: Thank you so much for your time! Anything you'd like to add for your fans, friends?
Riku: Just check our site @ and be aware our compilation album will come out in April!

Also, watch out for more news about the compilation album tonight (02.27.2012) on and the band's Facebook page !

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